This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.
OPTIONAL IWSG DAY QUESTION:
What would make you quit writing?
Let’s break this down as a spectrum. On one end, what would stop me from finishing a project; on the other end, what would stop me from ever writing again.
What would stop me from finishing a project?
Painted myself into a corner. Preventable if I’d outline first.
Lack of story structure. Most likely, it would need a complete rewrite. Or a dissection, rearrange, and rebuild using a new outline or general plan to increase tension until the climax.
Lack of connection with characters/story not compelling: Revisit characters and their ability to connect with readers. Ask questions like: are my characters interesting, flawed, vulnerable, proactive?
It comes down to one thing: unless there is a fundamental flaw (think broken foundation) within the project, most stories can be fixed. It completely depends on how much effort you want to put into your project.
Now you understand why so many say you’ve got to love the project. You’ve got to be excited about it to the point of no return. Because this is just the beginning.
After signing a contract, you’ve got to go through rounds and rounds of edits and polishing. Attitude is everything. You’ll want them to be thrilled to work with you again.
What would stop me from trying to sell a project?
Rejections. Rejection. Rejection.
Nope, that’s not it.
Form Rejections can mean you need to revise your query, synopsis, and pages. Unfortunately, editors/agents have too many reasons to stop reading submissions. This equals a form rejection, or worse, crickets.
Rejection with feedback is another animal. It means the query was successful. Take it to heart that any advice that is offered can possibility get you published with that sole agent/editor, however, you need to decide if what they ask for compromises what you’ve envisioned. Then it’s up to you, and it will be a hard decision.
Rejection based sales is a hard fact. Agent/editor says: That the market is too saturated. No one can categorize the work’s genre, so where do you sell it? Another example and it’s a huge one is a broken foundation. What if you wrote a ChicLit, but your readers found it offense to women.
If you get more than fifty rejections or more, ask yourself: Is this story great? Brilliant? Outstanding? Does it fit in with all the other published bestsellers? Can it be fixed? If the answer is no, it might be wise to move on and write a better, more brilliant book and try again.
What would make me stop writing for good?
This is very personal. Nothing would stop me from writing—evah! Is there a possibility I’ll quit submitting? That’s a maybe.
Honestly, each time I submit, it takes longer and longer to build myself up and get to it. One day, I suspect, I won’t be able to.
But I’ll always write. Like you, it’s in my blood.
Why to writers fail?
They get tired. We all know this industry is hard on the ego. Frustrations with the constant upping of ability, and the hard fact that if we do master the craft, there is a long road of rejection in front of us.
Some get energized by counting their rejections. My suggestion is be one of them. At least they are happy knowing that they are one step closer to success.
Why I haven’t quit yet?
“A winner is just a loser who tried one more time.”
Quote from George M. Moore, Jr.
Each time I submit, it takes longer and longer to try again. I tell myself I’m still in the game as long as I keep trying. I don’t know if it’s a big honking lie, but it gets me through my day.
What about you… What do you tell yourself to keep going?